Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Adoption and the Boseman Case in NC

On the opposite side of progress marching forward, there is this from the state of NC, in which adoption among LGBTQ couples has been made more of a challenge. From Equality NC:
On Monday, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a decision in Boseman v. Jarrell, a case challenging the validity of second parent adoption in our state. Unfortunately, the Court voted 5-2 to invalidate the adoption, claiming such adoptions are not allowed under state law.

Equality NC Foundation partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal to file an amicus brief in this case in support of second parent adoption. We are deeply saddened by this decision and will continue to work to secure basic protections for childern of same-gender parents

Many LGBT family law experts are analyzing through the decision to understand its full effect. However, we can share this basic information with you now:

New Second Parent Adoptions

The NC Supreme Court has ruled that judges do not have the authority to grant such adoptions. This means that same-sex parents can no longer obtain second parent adoptions in North Carolina.

Existing Second Parent Adoptions

The Court only ruled on one case. If other second parent adoptions were challenged, a court would have to find the adoption was invalid. However, the impact, if any, on existing adoptions that are not challenged is not yet clear. If you have an existing second parent adoption, we encourage you to contact the attorney you worked with for further advice.

Joint Custody

This portion of the decision was actually very positive. For the first time the NC Supreme Court has affirmed the same-sex parent cases that were decided by the Court of Appeals two years ago. Family law attorneys Sharon Thompson and Corye Dunn explain: "There will now no longer be any legal question in North Carolina that if you were jointly raising a child with your partner who is the legal parent, then you will be entitled to pursue a claim for custody if you were to unfortunately break up."

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